December 16, 2010

The {Joy} & {Hope} of the Season

This is my favorite time of year, there's so many things to love about this time of year. I love everything about this time of year. The lights, the food, the baking of Christmas cookies and sweet smells of cinnamon and sugar that fill your home.

The laughter and memory making that takes place is like a great big smile that happens in my heart. Ever since I was a little girl I have loved this time of year. It's my favorite season to decorate, I actually only really decorate my home for Christmas. The first pretty snowfall, a fresh blanket of snow that covers makes everything so serene and peaceful.

The twinkle of city lights downtown, and the hustle and bustle of the season, people out shopping for that perfect gift for their loved ones. Simmering cocoa, in red filled mugs piled high with whipped cream and marsh mellows.

Singing Christmas songs, and lighting a cozy fire and dancing in my living room with my Husband and babe.

Yes, I love this time of year!

But, the thing I love the most about this time of year is the Joy & Hope that this season brings to people. This time of year is filled with so much joy, love and cheer. Children laughing and being so excited. families getting together with their loved ones. And the hope that as one year comes to an end, and another one beginning new life and new purpose happens.

Christmas has never been my Husband's fave holiday. Growing up his family didn't have much money, and Christmas was always a hard time around their house. When Orion and I got married I was determined to bring hope, joy and love to this time of year. I wanted our home to be filled with family and love. And remembering what this season is truly about. I have loved making such a point to make memories and create special things for us to do, and really make it about the love of Christ and giving to others which in the end gives us more JOY than we could ever imagine.

When I think about 2010 the two words that keep coming to mind are Overwhelming JOY. There's no other way that I can describe what becoming first time parents has been, or watching Ava grow these last 9 months, or how the Lord has blessed us beyond what we deserve or could have imagined.

It's overwhelming. It's such a blessing.

I remember that first Christmas shortly after we were married, Orion and I had these grand plans to go out for a really nice Christmas Eve dinner to a swanky restaurant we loved in Minneapolis. That evening there was a horrible snow storm (typical for MN) and when we started driving we ended up sliding all over the roads near our apartment, we didn't barely get down the block before we decided to drive back home and stay in for the night. We ended up ordering Chinese take out and eating on the floor in our little apartment. Snow falling outside, next to our little Christmas tree it was perfect.

What I remember most about that first Christmas together wasn't what went wrong, but what was right about that first Christmas Eve together. Newlyweds, we didn't have much but it wasn't about that. It was about remembering Christ's love for us, our love for each other and feeling so blessed.

Orion and I have been through so much since that very first Christmas together. This year will be the third year in a row that we haven't been able to be with either of our families for various reasons, and while although it is very hard to not be with family during this time of the year I feel incredibly blessed to have a little family of my own this year to celebrate with, make new traditions, and pass on this love to. I look forward to the day when I can teach Ava and our future children about Christ's birth.

I find it so fitting that this year, three and a half years later we'll once again be in a tiny little apartment, with our amazing Christmas tree, celebrating Christmas and all its JOYS with our new daughter. Thankful for what He's given us, blessed to have each other, and giving HOPE to those around us.

For God so Loved the world that he GAVE......
John 3:16

I pray that you are truly blessed this Christmas, I pray that the LOVE of Christ fills your home, and that you have JOY and HOPE this year even if things have not worked out the way you planned, even if you have everything you want or need. True eternal JOY!

Merry Christmas! 

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